Vaguely Re: the term found-footage

From: Emile Tobenfeld (a.k.a Dr. T) (email suppressed)
Date: Sat Jun 07 2008 - 12:01:26 PDT

Semi- apropos tale from last night. I attended a
concert which featured mostly improvised computer
music. At one point during one of the sets I saw
an LCD bus marquee reflected in a back window of
the gallery behind the musicians. For that
moment it seemed a better visual accompaniment to
the music than anything one could have devised.

At 7:26 PM +0100 6/7/08, esperanza collado wrote:
>Hello there,
>very interesting conversation about found
>footage work on film... I think the term objet
>trouvé could be the source -or at least quite
>relates to that of "found footage". I dont know
>the origin of the latter but the notion of objet
>trouvé is often associated to Marcel Duchamp's
>La Fountain and other Ready-Made pieces, and
>maybe loosely to chance operations too (and
>therefore John Cage and the Fluxus movement).
>I would be interesting to investigate
>connections in experimental poetry of the 1920s
>another tangential thought: I recently read
>Peter Burger's "Theory of the Avant-Garde",
>which is a very exciting approach on avant-garde
>practices on the whole. there is a chapter about
>certain principles often found in avant-garde
>works and, without intending to construct
>categories, Burger states that notions of
>allegory, chance, montage are significant in
>such works. He never talks directly about found
>footage, but there are lots of connections... he
>says, for instance, that the procedures invented
>by the avant-garde with antiartistic intend are
>used with artistic ends...
>I just found collage and montage -as principles
>rather than techniques!- so interesting, I didnt
>know -as David said- artists refuse in current
>times to use the term. Anyhow, here are two
>magnificent quotes I alway know by memory (!)
>about montage-collage:
>Eisenstein: "the form of montage is a
>restoration of the laws of the process of
>thought, which in turn restores moving reality
>in process of unrolling".
>Burroughs: "the cut-up technique is closer to
>the actual factors of perception. When looking
>at a window, going down the street, looking
>around a room, etc., consciousness is being cut
>but random factors. Life is a cut-up rather than
>a straight linear narrative."
>sorry if i didnt help. hopefully it was slightly amusing!
>2008/6/7 David Tetzlaff <<mailto:email suppressed>:
>A collage can include a variety of materials,
>which are not necessarily found objects.
>A found-footage film may or may not be edited in
>a manner that fits the term 'collage' and in
>fact, (c.f. Ken Jacobs 'Perfect Film' and 'Urban
>Peasants') may not be edited at all. (The
>transformations of found footage in the context
>of Jacobs' Nervous System performances doesn't
>fit the concept of collage really either...).
>Other filmmakers have created works that focus
>on altering the image of found works, rather
>than cutting and pasting: Naomi Uman's
>'Removed', Peggy Ahwesh's 'Color of Love'.
>Perhaps 'found footage' is employed because it
>fits a wider set of practices, and focuses on
>the act of appropriation rather than
>And it's not exactly that one term has replaced
>the other. People still refer to collage: there
>was a conference at the U of Iowa a few years
>ago called "Collage as Cultural Intervention"
>covering everything from Dada to hip-hop.
>It does seem though that the term collage has
>fallen somewhat out of fashion, that many people
>who are making collage works don't use the term
>or don't use it much. Perhaps it gained a sort
>of lumpen connotation by its use in grade school
>art assignments, art therapy, etc. that
>contemporary artistes want to avoid?
>Just speculation, which doesn't answer your question, of course....
>does anybody knows when, where and by whom the term "found-footage"
>was invented, replacing the older term "collage" for those films?
>Thanx in advance for any hint,
>Marcel Schwierin ::: curator ::: filmmaker
>Chausseestr. 11 ::: 10115 Berlin ::: Germany
><mailto:email suppressed
> :::
> <>
>For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at
><<mailto:email suppressed>.
>Esperanza Collado

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the 
ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at 
the same time, and still retain the ability to 
F. Scott Fitzgerald
		Emile Tobenfeld, Ph. D.
Video Producer and Digital Photographer	Image Processing Specialist
Video for your HEAD!			Boris FX
My photography can be viewed at
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.